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Sports

Five things we learned on Day 10 of Roland Garros - rain beats everyone at the French Open

media Rain forced the suspension of play for more than three hours during two of the women's quarter-final matches and organisers postponed two men's quarter-final games. RFI/Pierre-René Worms

A Frenchwoman was on court but the locals couldn't get animated while a teenage Latvian blitzed her way into the semi-finals on a rain lashed windy day in Paris.


1. All that sunshine … we paid the price.

It has been baking hot virtually every day since the start of the tournament and then on day 10 the heavens opened after about 75 minutes of play in the two women’s quarter finals. There was a three hour hold up. They came back, played for 21 minutes and went away again due to the rain. They returned. After that the question was what did the delays do to them? Jelena Ostapenko was about to serve for the second set against Caroline Wozniacki when they went away. Ostapenko came back and finished the job. She was just as efficient in the decider winning that in 33 minutes 6-2.

2. Spectators are wimps

One thing that was very noticeable was the ever diminishing crowds as a result of the rain delays. There was a fullish house when the local heroine Kristina Mladenovic started her match against 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky at 2.15pm on centre court. After the first delay there were fewer and after the second fewer still. And yet there’s a lament about French players not reaching the latter stages of Roland Garros. Where were the partisans when their girl was in the battle? Fair weather friends indeed.

 

3. Players are tough

The women quarter-finalists started their working day just after 2pm and at 7.30pm they were still at their labours because of all the rain delays. That’s a long day. Still, at the end of the travails, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Wozniacki, the defeated 13th and 11th seeds respectively each took home 300,000 euros for their exertions on day 10 and in their four previous matches.

4. More double faults, please

Kristina Mladenovic served 16 double faults in her three set win over defending champion Garbine Muguruza to reach her quarter-final pay day. But she served only two in her straight sets defeat to Timea Bacsinszky. There is lesson in those statistics.

5. Hmm, tell me about your childhood …

Timea Bacsinszky has hit a rich vein of form at Roland Garros since 2015. Back then she lost a fiercely contested semi-final against Serena Williams. She reached the last eight in 2016 and now in 2017, it’s another semi-final. “The French Open is the only Grand Slam where I’ve never lost in the first round,” said the 27-year-old Swiss. “I’m still trying to find out why the magic has been happening.” Though her French opponent Kristina Mladenovic was the higher seed, Bacsinszky has, with those previous deep runs, a better pedigree at Roland Garros where Mladenovic was tasting the joys of the last eight for the first time. But despite her insight into the latter stages, the 30th seed revealed anxiety can still poke its icy fingers into the subconscious realm the night before a big match. “I went to bed at 11pm, woke up at 4am and didn’t sleep for an hour,” said Bacsinszky. “I went back to sleep at 5am and had a dream that I had to catch a flight to go to another tournment. I had three towels that I wanted to give to my siblings - because I have three - but I forgot them in the closet. So it was a big drama. So I could not get into the plane without giving the towels of the French Open, and I woke up and I was sweating. It was terrible for me.” Tell us, what does it all mean? Rain stops play?
 

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